Austin Miller/Daily Express

After years of discussion and legislative battles, medical marijuana arrived in force in Missouri this year. With that came three dispensaries in Kirksville.

In January of 2020, four businesses were awarded permits to open medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. The pandemic delayed many of those operations, pushing plans back for many months.

COVID cases among construction workers delayed businesses being built, then there were similar delays as vendors started growing. With demand greater than supply, businesses had to wait to have products on their shelves.

That was the case for Missouri Health & Wellness, located at 215 East Charles Street, which became Kirksville’s first dispensary back on March 1. Kathleen Beebe, the company’s regional manager, said cities away from the metros were sought out, which is what drew them to Kirksville. The company also opened stores in Washington, Sedalia and Jefferson City.

Many of the early customers they had at each store were older folks trying to deal with various ailments and pain.

“That’s the most rewarding part of the job,” Beebe said. “I’ve heard some pretty tough stories of the illnesses people are dealing with. They may have tried regular pharmaceuticals and it just didn’t

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